Saturday, January 19, 2019

People of the Book

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks was a book group choice.  I didn't really enjoy it all that much, but stuck with it.  I will admit that it got better by the end of the book.  It is a fictional novel based on a true story. 

The story is about an Australian rare book expert, Hannah, who is chosen to go to Sarajevo in 1996 to preserve the Sarajevo Haggadah.  It had been missing for the past hundred years.  This Haggadah was a bit different from others as it had survived since the 14th century in Spain.  The other striking thing was the illustrations in the Haggadah were stunningly beautiful.  While working on the book, Hannah discovered some clues as to where the book may have been at different times.

People of the Book: A Novel

The chapters of this novel are divided by person, place and time, with each chapter telling another piece of the mystery of where the Haggadah may have been hidden.  That's where I had the most trouble with the book.  The times of the chapters were not in chronological order and I found that quite confusing. There are also a large number of characters to try to keep straight in the reader's head.

I do think that the book was an excellent opportunity to learn more about history and what people might have done to keep the Haggadah from harm.

[SIDE NOTE: The Haggadah is a Jewish book that is read by Jewish families on the first night of Passover at the Seder meal, telling the stories of the survival of the Jewish people.]

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